i am compelled to put this here. i would have probably left this as a frustrated customer and maybe even forgotten about it over a period of time. but companies, in their urge to remain in the high visibility range, have a way of reminding you of their stupidity, ineptitude, what have you.
i am happy that the bank keeps me informed about my account balance. but could they just leave it at that? i mean, send me the statement and stop! i dont want to know whether they have loans to dole out or credit cards that clamour for my wallet space. ICICI Bank has now taken a new fancy (yes, they think they are doing me a favour.) i can list myself under a "Do Not Disturb" category which will protect me from their telemarketers and cold callers. i have heard of a hafta* system thats prevalent in some places. but ICICI has a catch. i am supposed to call their call-centre (they call it phone banking) and plead them to leave me alone. its their way of punishing me for not letting them bother me.
Citibank lets you do this via email. its probably less of a hassle, and i might still argue that. but ICICI excels in "customer service". and they take pride that Outlook Money puts this customer service as one of their strengths. i say, Outlook has a wonderful sense of humour!
i simply love ICICI's customer service :-) i mean, it gives my understanding of this world a new perspective.
exhibit 1. log on to their secure net banking site. i have to insist on the term secure 'cos it uses my unique customer id (something the bank identifies me by) and a password the secrecy of which is my responsibility. now i ask them to change my communication address. they promptly reply after 4 days stating that they cannot change my address 'cos of security reasons. hmmm. i remind them that i am transacting through their secure website. it takes them another 4 days to remind me that communicating with them through secure netbanking is well, not secure!
exhibit 2. before i get charged for a credit card i never needed, i decide to cancel it. report to work late one day, make that dreadful trip to their branch and get rid of the plastic. a signboard "credit cards" overjoyed me. so i walk up straight to the "customer care executive" sitting "just for me" and ask him to just cancel my card. he actually isnt worried about losing a customer (it was not the end of the month, he could still hunt new prey). he merely tells me that branches are not authorized to cancel credit cards. it has to be done only through their call-centre. oops! sorry, phone banking. leaves me wondering, was this guy made to sit here just to direct people to ICICI's call centre!?
the most entertaining part of the whole deal while writing to your ICICI Bank account manager through (secure) Net Banking is that they seem to have a reply template in place. (and i love this part) All their mails have a common opening line. "Sorry for the delay in response...."
* hafta - protection money